OUR APPROPRIATE RESPONSE
Derek Prince

HIS GLORY REIGNS
B. Childress
Sep 4 2009 08:00AM

Psalms provide us with such an incredibly clear and beautiful picture of true worship.  Let's dwell once more on the rich
and powerful language of Psalm 95:

    "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before
    his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God, and
    a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.  
    The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us
    kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of
    his hand..."  (Psalm 95:1-7)

There are three successive phases here that I want to examine.  First, in verses one and two we have loud exuberant
praise and thanksgiving: "
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with
thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms
."  That is loud, exuberant praise and thanksgiving.  It is a
prelude of sorts.

Then, in verses three through five, the psalmist gives us reasons for praise and thanksgiving.  As we have already
learned, we thank God for what He does.  We praise Him for who He is.  Both reasons are included in verse three, "
for
the LORD is a great God.
"  Elsewhere in Psalms it says, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his
greatness is unsearchable.
" (Psalm 145:3).  His praise must be related to His greatness.  Psalm 95 reminds us of what
God did, "
The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land."

When we come to God in this way, with praise and thanksgiving, our vision becomes focused on God.  This is essential
for worship, because the great enemy of worship is self-centeredness.  As long as we are all wrapped up in ourselves
and our own problems and the things that are going on all around us, we are not in a position to worship God.

As I stated in the last chapter, the third phase is found in verses six and seven, where worship is expressed in attitude.

    "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."  (Psalm 95:6)

Let me point out things about these verses.  First of all, worship sets us apart as God's people.  The reason given for
worshiping is, "
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will
hear his voice.
"  (Psalm 95:7).  By worshiping God, we declare, by that act, just who is our God.  The one whom we
worship necessarily and inevitably must be our God.  As I will point out later, that is why it is so important that we worship
Him and no other.  Worship sets us apart as God's people.

Second, worship is our appropriate response to God's tender love and care for us, "...
we are the people of his
pasture.
"  (Psalm 95:7).

Results of Worship

I want to continue in Psalm 95 to what I believe describes the two results of worship and, eventually, the price of failing
to worship.

    "For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will hear his
    voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  When your
    fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said,
    It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath  that
    they should not enter into my rest."   (Psalm 95:7-11)

Here we see two results of true worship, of bowing down and kneeling in the Lord's presence.  First, we hear God's
voice.  We pass from the stage of loud, exuberant praise and thanksgiving into a stage of inner rest, tranquility, and
quietness where everything is hushed, where we are still in the presence of God. In that attitude of worship, we can hear
God's voice in a way that we can never hear when we are taken up with ourselves and our own problems and
perplexities.  One of the essential things about worship is focusing on the Lord, turning away from ourselves - as it were,
almost merging our identity in His.

It is vital to be able to hear God's voice. In Jeremiah, God emphatically declared to His people,

    "But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people."   
    (Jeremiah 7:23)

That is the simplest statement I know of what God requires.  
"Obey my voice, and I will be your God."  Deuteronomy 28
lists all the blessings of obedience, and all the curses of disobedience.  The blessings begin, "...
if thou shalt hearken
diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this
day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on
thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
"  (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).  The
curses begin, "
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do
all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and
overtake thee:
"  (Deuteronomy 28:15).  The water shed is listening or not listening to the voice of the Lord.

Not to shock you, but it is not enough to just read our Bibles.  In John it says, "
My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they follow me.
"  (John 10:27).  You cannot follow Jesus if you do not hear His voice.  It is good to read the
Bible, but you can do so without ever hearing the voice of the Lord.  I believe that worship is the appointed way to come
into that attitude and relationship where we really are able to hear God's voice.

The second result is that we enter into His rest.  Worshiping and hearing God's voice bring us into a rest that is not
possible in any other way.  Only those who really know how to worship can really enjoy His rest.  (Rest is very rare
among contemporary Americans.  They are a restless, nervous bunch of people).

    "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased
    from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the
    same example of unbelief."   (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Let us consider for a moment the issue of Sabbath rest.  I do not preach legalism.  I do not believe that Christians are
under the Law of Moses.  In Romans, we are reminded that, "
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every
one that believeth.
"  (Romans 10:4).  Christ's death terminated the law - not in its other aspects, but as a means to
obtain righteousness.  We do not achieve righteousness by keeping the Law of Moses, and, therefore, I personally do
not believe that Christians are required to observe the Sabbath as the Jewish people do.

Besides, even if you could convince me that Sunday was the Sabbath (the Sabbath is to be the seventh day of the
week, while Sunday is the first day of the week), we would all be horrible Sabbath breakers.  On the Sabbath you are
not allowed to kindle any kind of fire, switch on a light,  turn on a stove, or travel more than a minimal distance.  Most of
us break the Sabbath merely by going to church!

But the Scripture says, "
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."  (Hebrews 4:9).  I have come to believe
that I am not pleasing God if I am busy all seven days of the week.

The first thing God ever sanctified was time.  He sanctified the seventh day.  Before He sanctified a place or anything
else He sanctified time.  I believe time still needs to be sanctified.  God said to Israel, "Every seventh year you are not to
plant anything" (see, for example, Exodus 23:11).  Do you know what that is?  It is a test of faith.  What are we going to
eat, God?  "I'll take care of that; you let the land rest."  Israel failed.  They did not do it.  Some centuries later God said,
"All right.  Your land didn't have its Sabbath; I'm going to change that.  You are going into captivity.  You will make up for
all the Sabbaths that you failed to keep."

I believe that God deals with believers like that, too.  Some never rest, week after week, day after day, working away at
the same pace, never sanctifying time to God.  Eventually, they will make up for all that missed Sabbath with time spent
in the hospital.

So I ask you, Do you know what it is to rest?  Are you capable of disciplining yourself to stop doing things, even doing
them mentally?  Can you ever lie down and stop thinking about what you ought to be doing?  I'm afraid that many of us
don't even know what rest is.

This has been a new concept for me: learning to worship and learning to rest.  I find that they are very closely related.  I
believe in thanking God and praising Him out loud with dancing, clapping, and singing.  But there comes a time when we
need to bow down and become quiet.  Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart.  Don't miss His rest.

Results of Failing to Worship

Israel, as a people, failed to accept God's call to worship.  If we go back and look at Psalm 95, we will see the results of
their failure.

    "For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will hear his
    voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your
    fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said,
    It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  Unto whom I sware in my wrath that
    they should not enter into my rest."  (Psalm 95:7-11)

What were the results of Israel's failure to worship?  First, their hearts were hardened.  Second, they did not hear God's
voice.  Third, they provoked God to anger.  And fourth, they did not enter into their appointed rest.  They failed to follow
the steps of praise and thanksgiving that lead us into bowing and kneeling down, an attitude of stillness, of hushed
reverent quietness before God in which we hear His voice, and through which we enter into our appointed rest.

In I Kings 19, it is recorded that Elijah had been running away from Jezebel.  He took refuge in the desert and then he
made the long journey to Mount Horeb, the place where God originally made His covenant with the children of Israel.  
When Elijah was on Mt. Horeb, the Lord spoke to him, and he went through a number of dramatic experiences before
receiving a fresh revelation of the Lord.

    "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.  And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a
    great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not
    in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the
    earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."  (I Kings 19:11-12)

That is what I call a prelude to worship:  the wind, the earthquake, and the fire.  Such tremendous, tumultuous noise and
excitement, but it was not worship.

"..
.after the fire a still small voice."  (I Kings 19:12)

The
Amplified Bible says, "a sound of gentle stillness."  That is what I want you to associate with worship: a sound of
gentle stillness.

    "And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle."  (I Kings 19:13)

What is that?  That is worship.  Just as angels and seraphs are portrayed in Scripture as covering their faces and their
feet with their wings in the presence of God, Elijah covered his own face.

    "And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the
    entering in of the cave."  (I Kings 19:13)

Elijah came into that place of stillness and reverence in God's presence where God could speak to him.  In that attitude,
Elijah heard God's whisper, which he wasn't able to hear in any other way.  And, through hearing God's voice, if you
read the account that follows, he received new direction and strength.  He went out a man renewed with a new purpose,
new faith, and new courage.  He had entered into his rest through worship.



Source:

ENTERING THE PRESENCE OF GOD, by Derek Prince, Copyright 2007, Whitaker House.
2010 - HIS GLORY REIGNS
LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES
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